Fundamentals of Technical Theatre

Course Number: TA 111
Transcript Title: Fund of Technical Theatre
Created: September 1, 2012
Updated: May 8, 2017
Total Credits: 4
Lecture Hours: 60
Lecture / Lab Hours: 60
Lab Hours: 0
Satisfies Cultural Literacy requirement: No
Satisfies General Education requirement: No
Grading options: A-F (default), P-NP, audit
Repeats available for credit: 0

Course Description

Covers basic principles and techniques of technical theatre such as stage design, lighting, properties and stage management. Explores the role of the technician in the theatre organization. Lecture and lab allows flexible scheduling. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Perform script analysis techniques necessary to glean visual information required for a particular technical theatre area of their choice, including: scenic design, scenic construction, lighting design, sound design, properties design, stage management
  2. Demonstrate the pros and cons of three traditional stage types: Proscenium, Thrust and Arena.
  3. Produce a scaled ground plan drawing.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Assessment shall include:

  1. An examination based on the text readings and lecture materials.
  2. A scaled ground plan drawing.
  3. A cumulative final project. Student will choose from the following areas:
    1. Scenic design
    2. Scenic construction
    3. Lighting design
    4. Sound design
    5. Properties design
    6. Stage Management production book
  4. At least two of the following additional measures:
    1. Graded homework
    2. Group projects
    3. Attendance and participation
    4. Shop projects
    5. Participation in the technical crew for the main stage production.

Assessment Basis:

  • Evaluation of the design and building of props, scenery, lighting, and sound for the main stage show.
  • Successful performance of the selected/assigned tech crew position for the main stage show.

Course Activities and Design

Activities will be divided into the following categories; Lighting, Sound, Costumes, Props, Set Design and execution, Stage Management. Each category will include tests on terminology and practical knowledge as well as demonstration of ability to run the equipment in that area. Practical training and repetition will be a part of the class. Students will study and analyze a script to develop a scenic plot that includes lighting and set design, as well as costume and appropriate props. Students will also have hands on experience building the set, designing and hanging the lights, developing and running the sound, creating the costumes and props for all productions.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

  1. Understand the theatre facility, its pros and cons:
    1. Proscenium stage
    2. Arena stage
    3. Thrust stage
  2. Understand theatrical equipment:
    1. Lighting Instrument types:
      1. Leko
      2. Fresnel
      3. Par
    2. Demonstrate safety and proficiency with scene shop tools and equipment:
      1. Power Tools
      2. Pneumatic Tools
      3. Hand Tools
      4. Construction/decor materials
    3. Demonstrate safety and proficiency with stage equipment:
      1. Rigging
      2. Scenery
      3. Scene Shop and Back stage spaces


  1. Creating drafting paperwork:
    1. Ground plan
  2. Successfully working with materials and tools/equipment common to a scenic shop.
  3. Successfully working with materials and tools/equipment common to a stage.
  4. Installing and decorating scenery for a main stage show.

Prerequisite Knowledge and Skills

Oral and written command of college level English is suggested.

Department Notes

Fundamentals of Technical Theatre is designed to introduce elements of technical theater including practical hands-on experience of stage design, set construction, lighting design, sound design, properties management, and stage management. The lecture/lab format provides time for individualized projects.